Derelict Mayo hotel building likely to be placed on open property market

THE fact that the sale of the historic Imperial Hotel, Castlebar, has fallen through - for now - is a great disappointment to the people of the county town and our local councillors.

The hotel was to form a major part of the proposed development of the core centre of Castlebar.

Other initiatives include the setting up of a youth centre and café in the old post office, Ellison Street, and major alterations to the military barracks, a marvellous piece of infrastructure in the centre of Castlebar.

This development will link the barracks with Rock Square, the Mall and Main Street to join the walkway alongside Castlebar town river.

The trouble with such major works is that they take a considerable time before they become a reality.

Our understanding is that a sum of €11 million has been made available for developing the core centre of Castlebar.

Some years ago Councillor Martin McLoughlin proposed that a bandstand be erected on the Mall and his suggestion should be kept in mind.

Castlebar Concert Band, based in Castlebar, is one of the leading combinations of its kind in the country and recently won several major awards at a musical festival in the midlands.

Now that a proposed sale of the Imperial Hotel has fallen by the wayside, it will give Mayo County Council a fresh opportunity to look at the future of the building, which has vast potential.

Councillor Cyril Burke has tabled a motion for tomorrow's meeting of the Castlebar Municipal District seeking that the hotel be placed on the market and there is understood to be interest.

We'll see how that develops.

The Land League was co-founded in the hotel by Michael Davitt and Jame Daly, editor of The Connaught Telegraph.

I have no doubt the design team of Mayo County Council are more than capable of producing a building which will substantially enhance the beauty of the area.

I am also confident the planners and architects in the council will have the full support of the elected members.

Lots of activities could be held on the barracks square. In the past the famous Western Fair and Carnivals were held on the square and featured a number of unique international artistes.

The barracks square was also the venue for Castlebar agricultural show, one of the largest of its kind in County Mayo.

Those major events were held at a time when Castlebar had a much smaller population than it has today and was a poorer town.